Electronics & Computers

Technology Enables High-Performance Smartphone Cameras

February 22, 2012

Aptina's A-PixHS high-speed breakthrough 8 Megapixel image sensor brings HD video and digital still camera image quality to smartphones.

SAN JOSE, CA -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Aptina, a leading provider of CMOS image sensor solutions to Tier 1 mobile device manufacturers and OEMs, announced the launch of the 8-megapixel (MP) AR0833 image sensor with Aptina A-PixHS technology. The new 1/3.2 in. optical format 1.4-µm pixel sensor has the speed to capture the full 8 MP sensor resolution at a rapid 30 frames per second. Aptina's new A-PixHS technology brings together Aptina's backside illuminated (BSI) pixel technology and an advanced high speed sensor architecture to enable a number of innovative features. It is designed to enable low z-height camera modules to meet OEM and mobile device manufacturers' needs. The excellent performance of the AR0833 delivers enhanced image capture capabilities to a variety of mobile devices, including the expanding smartphone market, which according to Techno Systems Research Co, Ltd. is expected to grow 33% in 2012 and account for 65% of all cell phone shipments by 2015.

The powerful combination of BSI and high-speed architecture enable a new class of ultra-responsive cameras with excellent low light performance and uncompromised bright light performance to capture images with zero shutter lag and suppressed rolling shutter artifacts. Zero shutter lag eliminates the annoying delay between when the camera shutter button is depressed and the image is actually captured.

"The AR0833 sensor is at the forefront of a new class of smartphone cameras providing an enhanced end user experience distinctly focused on high performance and rapid frame rates for still image and video capture," said Farshid Sabet, VP and GM of Aptina's mobile business. "This new sensor is built on A-PixHS technology which combines high sensitivity second generation BSI technology and innovative, high-speed sensor technology for a complete solution that provides fast, vivid video and image capture."

The sensor's high operating speed enables new advanced image capture options such as HD video with simultaneous still capturing and rapid context switching. Simultaneous capture allows for 8 MP image captures while recording camcorder quality, full field-of-view 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second. Video performance is also enhanced by eliminating the need for cropping the scene or using common "binning" techniques that create image artifacts. The sensor's rapid contexts switching feature also removes shutter lag when the sensor switches between a low-power preview mode and a full resolution still image. Additionally, the AR0833 is HDR ready for still and video applications capturing difficult high range scenes when coupled with an HDR processor.

The AR0833 is currently sampling and will be available in mass production CY Q2 2012. Available as a stand-alone sensor for OEMs and manufacturers who have their own ISP, it is also available with Aptina's imaging co-processor for a fully tuned, complete camera solution enabling quick integration and delivery of new designs to market.

Aptina A-PixHS
A-PixHS technology brings together Aptina's backside illuminated (BSI) pixel technology and an advanced high speed sensor architecture to enable a new class of high performance cameras. The BSI pixel maximizes the efficiency with which the light is captured by inverting the sensor to put the photo sensitive region closer to the lens and by implementing advanced engineering techniques found in Aptina A-Pix technology. The advanced high-speed sensor architecture leverages the speed and sensitivity of the BSI pixel to enable fast, vivid video and image capture.

About Aptina
Aptina is a global provider of CMOS imaging solutions that enable Imaging Everywhere. Using performance enhancing technologies like Aptina A-Pix, DR-Pix and award winning MobileHDR, Aptina has created a market-leading portfolio of image sensor products found in leading consumer electronics like smartphones, tablets, laptops, digital and video cameras, as well as applications in surveillance, automotive, medical, video conferencing, and gaming. Aptina drives innovation in the market with industry recognized products like the AR0331 surveillance image sensor and the 16MP APS-C DSLR sensor. Privately held, Aptina's investors include Riverwood Capital, TPG Capital and Micron Technology.

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